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Contents:

ABOUT NASHVILLE REGION’S VITAL SIGNS

3 - 9

THE NASHVILLE REGION’S GROWTH

10 - 13

WORKFORCE AND EDUCATION

14 - 25

HEALTH

26 - 35

TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE

36 - 41

AFFORDABILITY

42 - 46

This report is developed in partnership with the Greater Nashville Regional

Council (GNRC) which serves as the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning

Organization (MPO) for the Nashville area. Funding for the report is provided

in part by grants from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit

Administration, and Tennessee Department of Transportation.

More information available at GNRC.org.

2


Supporting Sponsors:

Media Partner:

To learn more about Nashville Region’s Vital Signs

please visit: nashvillechamber.com/vitalsigns.

3


ABOUT NASHVILLE REGION’S VITAL SIGNS

Every fall, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce releases the Vital Signs report to track key issues that

impact the region’s well-being and quality of life while introducing community-driven solutions to address them.

The Chamber’s Research Center leads the data collection for the project and the Greater Nashville Regional

Council (GNRC) is the Chamber’s lead partner in the effort.

Chamber leaders brought the Vital Signs program to Nashville after the Chamber’s Leadership Study Mission

to Toronto in 2011 where Nashville leaders learned of Toronto’s Vital Signs initiative. The Vital Signs process

was created in 2001 by Community Foundations of Canada as a broad, agenda-setting mechanism focused

on outcomes and solutions to key community issues. The Vital Signs trademark is used with permission from

Community Foundations of Canada.

The 2018 Nashville Region’s Vital Signs is a snapshot in time using data to explain opportunities and issues

facing the Nashville region and highlighting innovation in addressing the challenges before the region.

Each section of Vital Signs also features ways a reader can immediately connect with a program or initiative

making a positive difference on transportation, education, affordability and health and wellness. Whether by

providing information for discussion among community leaders or creating models for addressing challenges

and opportunities before the Nashville region, the real impact of the report comes when the information

conveyed is used to inspire action.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Nashville and Clarksville Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are experiencing dynamic growth and

change. This growth acts as an economic engine that benefits all of Tennessee and helps the region compete

with similarly-sized regions across the United States. Due to a rapidly growing population, as well as business

relocations and expansions, the region has surged to the top of many national lists of “best places” to live, work

and play. The 2018 Nashville Region’s Vital Signs examines patterns and trends in Middle Tennessee around

housing, transportation, educational attainment, and the health and wellness of the region’s residents.

A study of the region requires a close look at both the thriving Nashville MSA and the Clarksville MSA. The

MSAs combined are seeing explosive growth in industries such as health, education, government, military and

manufacturing. The close proximity of the MSAs creates an opportunity for increased collaboration among

local governments and the business community to drive economic development.

Vital Signs 2018 highlights changes within the region over the 10 years since the Great Recession and examines

how these changes have created unprecedented growth and opportunity in Middle Tennessee. However,

this growth also brings the challenge of ensuring that increased economic opportunities are available for

all residents. With unprecedented growth and opportunity for the joint regions over the past 10 years, it is

important that we reflect on how the region has changed and how current conditions will impact its future.

4


POPULATION

The last decade began with rapid population growth in 2008 that outpaced projections, but has seen a leveling out in recent years. From 2010

to 2017, the Nashville MSA grew by an average of 32,470 people each year, approximately 89 people each day, and U.S. Census data indicates

that the Nashville MSA grew by 94 people each day in 2017. However, even as the population of the MSA increases, net migration continues to

be a concern for the core of the region since 2,397 more people moved out of Davidson County than moved in from 2016 to 2017.

NASHVILLE MSA HISTORIC AND PROJECTED POPULATION GROWTH

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau Decennial Census, 2015 Population Estimates Program and Woods & Poole Economics Inc.

3,000.000

2,500,000

Takeaway: The Nashville

region outpaced projected

population growth in 2008

and has leveled out to

matched projections over

recent years.

2.000.000

1970

2000

1,500,000

2010

2015

2020

2025

1,000,000

2030

2035

2040

500,000

The Clarksville MSA increased in population from 261,691 in 2010 to 285,602 in 2017- a total of 23,911 people. The growth of the

Nashville MSA and the Clarksville MSA together have contributed to a combined increase of a quarter million in population from

2010 through 2017 (250,711 or 12.9%).

5


THE NASHVILLE REGION’S GROWTH

This 10-year period of population growth for the two MSAs after the recession, coupled with the growth

of industries like science, technology, health care, tourism, administration and auto manufacturing, led

to the joint MSAs significantly outperforming job growth projections released in 2010. The increase in

the number of employers and population in the MSAs also boosted economic activity in the region. The

Clarksville MSA GDP increased from $9.1 billion in 2008 to $11.0 billion in 2017 and the Nashville MSA GDP

changed from $81.2 billion in 2008 to $133.3 billion in 2017.

As the economy improved, both MSAs experienced significant growth in employment participation. The

Clarksville MSA labor force grew by nearly 10 percent from July 2008 to July 2018. Over this same 10-year

period, the unemployment rate dropped from its highest during the recession of 10.8 percent in July 2009

to 5.1 percent in July 2018.

From July 2009 to July 2018, employment in the Nashville MSA increased by more than 23 percent.

Furthermore, the Nashville MSA unemployment rate dropped from 10.1 percent in July 2009 to 3.2 percent

in July 2018, which is lower than the national average.

WORKFORCE AND EDUCATION

Middle Tennessee cities and counties are working within their pre-K-12 school systems to create a pipeline

of talent. The pre-K-12 pipeline is augmented by programs such as the Academies of Nashville, Tennessee

Promise and Tennessee Reconnect. These programs provide educational opportunities with input from area

employers that lead to post-secondary credentials aligned for today’s workforce. It is critical that an emphasis

continues to be placed on aligning business needs and workforce development skills to ensure the degrees or

certificates earned produce relevant, highly-skilled employees.

In addition to creating home-grown talent, Middle Tennessee benefits from new residents who help fill the

gap between job openings and the available workforce. However, new residents will only continue to come to

Middle Tennessee if they are attracted to the region’s quality of life. This means businesses, and the Chamber,

need to focus on quality of life issues such as affordability and transportation.

HEALTH

The Nashville area is known as the healthcare industry capital of the world. The healthcare industry has an

economic impact of $46 billion and helps to sustain over 270,000 jobs in the Nashville region’s economy. Despite

the abundance of healthcare resources available in the region, Middle Tennessee still has many poor health

outcomes. In addition to uninsured residents, the Nashville MSA also has higher than expected percentages of

mothers without prenatal care, children without health insurance and obesity in school-age children. The high rates

of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses make health care a critical issue for employers who need a

healthy, productive workforce.

An increased labor force, low unemployment and increasing wages mean employers are facing tremendous

pressure to attract and retain employees. Now that employers are struggling to find employees, they are

considering providing more incentives to retain employees. Employers may choose to increase paid time off, life

insurance and medical insurance to incentivize current and future employees.

6


TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE

The increase in cost of living is one of the issues most commonly attributed to the region’s growth. The data shows while the

overall cost of living in the Nashville region remains lower than the national average, the increased cost of housing due to a

lack of supply and increased demand have become a burden on households.

Housing and transportation costs comprise the largest shares of most household budgets. Households that spend more

than 30 percent of their income on housing, and more than 20 percent of their income on transportation, are considered

cost burdened.

Even though the region boasts weekly wages on par with the national average of $1,101, low unemployment rates and

high job growth, an increasing number of joint MSA residents are spending the majority of their earnings on housing

and transportation making them cost burdened. The Nashville MSA’s rapid growth has increased housing demand and

housing costs; in 2008, the median home price was $159,800, but it jumped to $246,500 in 2018. The housing costs for

the Clarksville MSA have increased as well. The average cost of a home was $171,130 in 2008 and $203,410 in 2018. As

residents seek to decrease their housing and transportation costs, the need to offer additional housing options and to

improve access to jobs and oppurtunity is imperative.

AFFORDABILITY

The Nashville region’s growth since the Great Recession has resulted in a 5.3 percent increase in median household income

in the decade between 2006 and 2016, equating to $3,042.

Despite the increases in income, a growing number of residents in Middle Tennessee find it difficult to locate housing within

their budget. Residents struggle to find housing for many reasons: the pace of growth in Nashville and the addition of new

residents has led to an imbalance in supply and demand of housing. Looking at the same time frame as the household

income increase, 2006 to 2016, median home prices increased dramatically from $175,000 in 2006 to a little under

$250,000 in 2016.

The future success of the region depends on whether Middle Tennessee can figure out a way to embrace the new growth

while ensuring residents who work within the region can also afford to live within the region.

7


8

OUR REGION


POPULATION GROWTH: 2007 - 2017

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2017

Charlotte

53%

Austin

33%

Raleigh

Nashville

27%

25%

Indianapolis

19%

Columbus

18%

Denver

Portland

Minneapolis

Atlanta

13%

12%

12%

17%

Takeaway: The Nashville MSA, along with peer

MSAs, have seen strong population growth over the

past decade, adding nearly 400,000 new residents.

Nashville’s growth is among the highest in the nation

as the region continues to add population through

both migration and natural increase.

Clarksville

8%

METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS

Source: US Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey (ACS), 1-Year Estimates

Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are geographic entities with a core urban area of 50,000 or more population, delineated by the Office of

Management, and Budget (OMB) and revised with the Decennial Census.

United States Nashville MSA Clarksville MSA

Total Population

325,719,178

1,904,226

285,602

Median Age

38.1

36.4

30.9

Median Home Value

217,600

241,900

159,800

Median Household Income

60,336

63,939

54,667

Below Poverty

13.4%

10.9%

14.9%

Foreign Born

13.7%

8.1%

4.3%

Without health insurance

8.7%

9.5%

8.3%

9


THE NASHVILLE REGION’S GROWTH

This 10-year period of population growth for the two MSAs after the recession, coupled with the growth of

industries like science, technology, health care, tourism, administration and auto manufacturing, led to the

joint MSAs significantly outperforming job growth projections released in 2010. The increase in the number of

employers and population in the MSAs also boosted economic activity in the region. The Clarksville MSA GDP

increased from $9.1 billion in 2008 to $11.0 billion in 2017 and the Nashville MSA GDP changed from $81.2 billion

in 2008 to $133.3 billion in 2017.

As the economy improved, both MSAs experienced significant growth in employment participation. The

Clarksville MSA labor force grew by nearly 10 percent from July 2008 to July 2018. Over this same 10-year period,

the unemployment rate dropped from its highest during the recession of 10.8 percent in July 2009 to 5.1 percent

in July 2018.

From July 2009 to July 2018, employment in the Nashville MSA increased by more than 23 percent. Furthermore,

the Nashville MSA unemployment rate dropped from 10.1 percent in July 2009 to 3.2 percent in July 2018, which

is lower than the national average.

POPULATION CHANGE: 2016 - 2017

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2017

Atlanta

total: 89,009

Austin

total: 55,096

Charlotte

total: 49,687

Natural increase

Minneapolis

total: 43,485

Net migration

Denver

total: 36,312

Nashville

total: 34,185

Columbus

Raleigh

Portland

Indianapolis

Clarksville

total: 4,175

total: 31,742

total: 30,120

total: 30,064

total: 23,054

Takeaway: The Nashville MSA continues

to see strong net migration in comparison

to peer cities, with more than 70% of the

region’s population growth coming from net

migration in the past year. Net migration

is composed of domestic and international

migration.

Natural increase refers to the difference

between the number of live births and the

number of deaths occurring in a year.

10


GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT INCREASE, IN BILLIONS, AND PERCENTAGE GROWTH: 2006 - 2016

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2016

Austin

57%

Raleigh

34%

Nashville

33%

Portland

Denver

24%

32%

Columbus

Charlotte

19%

15%

Atlanta

14%

Indianapolis

10%

Minneapolis

10%

Clarksville

3%

$0 $10 $20 $30 $40 $50

Takeaway: The past decade has brought incredible growth to Nashville evidenced by increasing economic activity in the region. Nashville

performs well amongst its peers in gross domestic product (GDP) growth in terms of both percentage and raw growth. GDP is the value of all

goods and services produced in a defined area in a year.

11


ESTABLISHMENT GROWTH: 2006 - 2016

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015

Austin

Charlotte

Nashville

14%

Raleigh

12%

Denver

10%

35%

35%

Takeaway: The Nashville

MSA has added more

than 4,000 establishments

across a wide array of

industries in the past

decade - in particular,

management, health care

and education. Overall,

Nashville performs well

relative to peer cities, but

Austin and Charlotte have

had stronger growth in the

past 10 years.

Portland

Indianapolis

Clarksville

Atlanta

53%

7%

9%

4%

Establishments are defined as

a location where business is

conducted, goods are made or

stored or processed, or where

services are rendered.

Columbus

3%

Minneapolis

3%

0

5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000

NASHVILLE MSA INDUSTRY GROWTH: 2006 - 2016

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015

Accommodation and food services

39%

Health care and social assistance

25%

Other services (except public administration)

14%

Professional, scientific and technical services

13%

Retail trade

8%

Admin., support and management of companies

Finance, insurance and real estate

12%

26%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

28%

Educational services

Information

Transportation and warehousing

36%

14%

13%

Wholesale trade

Manufacturing

Construction

2%

-4%

-5%

12

-200 0 200 400 600 700 1,000 1,200


NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS DURING THE RECOVERY PERIOD INCLUDE:

Over the past 10 years, the number of annual visitors to the Nashville region grew from 10 million to 14 million.

Nashville has ranked within the top 10 large metros for job growth and population growth for the past four years.

From July 2009 to July 2018, employment in the Nashville MSA increased by more than 23 percent.

The unemployment rate for the Nashville MSA decreased by almost half over the past ten years from 6.0 percent in July

2008 to 3.2 percent in July 2018.

From 2010 to 2016, Tennessee’s large urban areas, led by Nashville, accounted for 57 percent of all employment growth in

the state, according to the Brookings Institution.

From 2008 to 2018, housing values rose 75 percent in Nashville, compared with 33 percent in Charlotte and 26 percent in

Atlanta, according to the Brookings Institution.

More than 10,000 people live downtown today, a 60 percent jump since 2012. In that same time, roughly 20,000 more jobs

have moved downtown, according to the Nashville Downtown Partnership.

13


WORKFORCE AND EDUCATION

After an unemployment rate of 10.1 percent in July 2009, the Nashville MSA’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent in July 2018. The Nashville MSA

unemployment rate reached its highest level in June 2009 at 10.4 percent.

Every region’s workforce has two sources. The first source is the pipeline of residents – youth educated through our pre-K-12 schools, as well as adults

who return to school to complete their GED or seek post-secondary education. The second source is new talent moving to the region. The region must

grow and attract talent to meet today’s needs and prepare for the jobs of the future.

Industry needs, changes in technology and changes in the economy impact the region’s workforce landscape. It is predicted that over the next 10 years,

the fastest growing occupations for this region will include jobs in retail, restaurants, healthcare workers in various capacities, laborers and software

developers and programmers.

FASTEST-GROWING OCCUPATIONS OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS - AVERAGE ANNUAL GROWTH RATE

Source: Chmurra, 2018

* The size of each circle represents the number of projected jobs.

Fast food

and counter workers

(2.1%)

6015 projections

Laborers and

material movers

(1.6%)

5650 projections

Registered nurses

(1.9%)

4241 projections

Retail

salespersons

(1.2%)

3587 projections

Driver / sales

workers and truck

drivers (1.3%)

3327 projections

Building cleaning

workers

(1.5%)

3290 projections

Customer

service

representatives

(1.4%)

3277 projections

Miscellaneous

health care

support (2.8%)

3120 projections

Nursing,

psychiatric and

home health

aides (2.3%)

3046 projections

General

and operations

managers (1.8%)

2974 projections

Waiters

and

waitresses

(1.5%)

2945 projections

Personal

care aides

(3.9%)

2586 projections

Software

developers and

programmers

(2.4%)

2371 projections

Cooks

(1.3%)

2254 projections

Stock

clerks and

order fillers

(1.3%)

2103 projections

Takeaway: Over the next 10 years, occupations such as personal or home health workers, registered nurses and other health care support

occupations will expand their reach in the region.


Additionally, we know the jobs within these broad categories demand varying levels of education which is directly related to workers’ earnings. Since

2007, there has been a continued correlation between the level of education and income across the region. Jobs in the Nashville MSA pay between

$30,519 and $35,468 for people with high school diplomas and some level of college, but the MSA is falling behind in pay for those with graduate or

professional degrees, averaging between $50,070 and $59,193.

EDUCATIONAL AND MEDIAN EARNINGS IN THE NASHVILLE MSA

Source: American Community Survey, 1 year estimates, 2016

Less than

high school

High school

graduate

2007

2016

Takeaway: Nashville pays highly competitive

rates to high school graduates or those with

some college education.

Some college or

associate’s degree

Bachelor’s

degree

Graduate or

professional degree

$0

$10,000 $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000 $60,000

When considering the jobs of the future, projections indicate that an increasing number of jobs will require an associate degree, but not necessarily a

bachelor’s degree. The Nashville region has a high number of these “middle-skills” jobs – those that require more education and training than a high

school diploma but less than a four-year college degree. Meanwhile, the region appears to be falling behind peer MSAs in graduates with associate

degrees. Because these positions are so critical to the Nashville region’s workforce, educators and employers must continue to evaluate the certificates

and degrees awarded in comparison to the rates of employment for related positions.

Poll result: The Vital Signs survey conducted with Middle Tennessee residents found that 30

percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 expect to change jobs within the next year and 50 percent of

this age group feel they need more education or training to advance in their career.

15


AVERAGE EARNINGS BY EDUCATION AND MSA

Source: American Community Survey, 1 year estimates, 2016

Less than

high school

High school

graduate (includes

equivalency)

Some college

or associate’s

degree

Bachelor’s

degree

Graduate or

professional

degree

Atlanta

$21,497

$29,769

$35,393

$52,440

$67,280

Austin

$24,163

$30,412

$38,930

$53,821

$ 7 0 , 8 5 6

Charlotte

$21,715

$30,324

$35,033

$52,389

$66,404

Indianapolis

$21,252

$30,474

$35,420

$51,905

$66,327

Louisville

$20,296

$30,707

$35,229

$50,997

$61,825

Memphis

$21,218

$26,970

$32,252

$ 4 9 , 8 9 7

$61,293

Nashville

$23,389

$30,519

$35,468

$50,070

$59,193

New Orleans

$21,912

$29,724

$32,313

$45,808

$59,912

Raleigh

$21,157

$30,076

$36,182

$52,232

$71,401

Seattle

$26,562

$35,097

$41,029

$63,081

$80,939

Takeaway: The region lags behind others in average earnings for persons with graduate or professional degrees.

16


EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT BY MSA

Source: American Community Survey, 1 year estimates, 2016

Raleigh

Seattle

Austin

Takeaway: The Nashville

MSA is above the

national average in

educational attainment

of bachelors and other

graduate or professional

degrees.

Charlotte

Atlanta

Indianapolis

Louisville

Memphis

New Orleans

Nashville

9.6% 25.5% 20.9% 7.7 % 22.2% 12.3%

U.S. average

4.5% 25.9% 21.0% 9.0% 20.7% 11.9%

Less than high

school

High school graduate

or equivalent

Some college, no

degree

Associate’s degree

Bachelor’s degree

Graduate or

professional degree

Governor Bill Haslam, understanding the need to improve Tennessee’s

pipeline of “homegrown” talent, created the Drive to 55 program in

2013. This effort, along with the Chamber’s work to connect adults to

continuing education and afford them more opportunities, is discussed

below. Also, the Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) “Academies of

Nashville” program works with high schoolers to help them understand

the course work necessary to achieve credentials for middle-skills jobs

after high school graduation if a four-year college degree is not the right

fit for them.

The Nashville region has a clear picture on what jobs are available in the

future and the education and training needed to secure these jobs. The

graph above comparing educational attainment by MSAs shows how the

Nashville region’s overall workforce stacks up against other regions.

Looking at high school graduation rates in the Nashville region, the

Clarksville-Montgomery County School System’s rate is more than 95.1

percent and Metro Nashville Public Schools’ is 80.3 percent, which has

increased over time.

Davidson County’s increased graduation rate is due in part to the

restructuring of high schools with the Academies of Nashville. Each

zoned high school in MNPS has multiple academies and each academy

focuses on a different career pathway. More than 350 business and

community partners provide students with hands-on learning. For

example, Antioch High School has four academies – the Tennessee

Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance, the Academy of

Engineering and Automotive Technology, the Academy of Teaching

and Service, and the Academy of Hospitality and Marketing. Students

complete coursework in their pathway while also completing courses

necessary to enroll in college. The Academies have been recognized

nationally as a high school transformation model that provides students

with the skills necessary to succeed when they graduate high school

and enter either the workforce or college. For more information on

the Academies of Nashville program, visit https://www.mnps.org/

academies-of-nashville/.

For adults who did not begin or complete college, the Drive to 55 and

Project Reconnect can help individuals increase their education to find

higher-paying jobs.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the workforce the Nashville region is

attracting tends to be more highly educated, as shown in the table

“Geographic Mobility by Educational Attainment.”

17


GEOGRAPHIC MOBILITY BY EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Source: American Community Survey, 1 year estimates, 2016

SAME

HOUSE AS

1 YEAR

AGO

MOVED

WITHIN

SAME

COUNTY

MOVED FROM

DIFFERENT

COUNTY WITHIN

SAME STATE

MOVED

FROM

DIFFERENT

STATE

MOVED

FROM

ABROAD

Total population

1,081,884

84,488

41,610

36,623

6,598

Less than high school graduate

10.9%

11.6%

9.3%

5.5%

11.7%

High school graduate

27.3%

24.6%

2 7.4 %

19.7%

20.0%

Some college / associate’s degree

28.3%

27.3%

30.0%

2 7.6 %

10.6%

Bachelor’s degree

21.5%

24.7%

23.3%

32.6%

40.2%

Graduate or professional degree

12.0%

11.9%

10.0%

14.6%

17.5%

Takeaway: People moving to the MSA from abroad and other states add to the overall

human capital of the area due to their attainment of advanced degrees.

18


The overall educational attainment of all workers in the Nashville MSA can mask differences across races and ethnicity. When examined through the

lens of race and ethnicity, the data reveals that Whites and Asians are completing post-secondary education programs and a higher rate, while African

American and Hispanic/Latino residents are falling behind in obtaining associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees or professional degrees.

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT BY RACE AND ETHNICITY IN THE NASHVILLE MSA

Source: American Community Survey, 1 year estimates, 2016

White

Less than high school

High school graduate or equivalent

Some college, no degree

African American

Associate’s degree

Bachelor’s degree or higher

Asian

Takeaway: The rate of attaining

a high school diploma or less

varies from 35% to 69% across

racial and ethnic groups in the

Nashville MSA.

Hispanic / Latino

0%

10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%

Unsurprisingly, the variations in educational attainment align with labor force participation, unemployment and poverty rates. A person with less than a

high school diploma is less likely to be in the labor force. Unemployment among this population is 4.6 percent versus the region’s overall unemployment

rate of 3.2 percent in July 2018. Nearly a quarter of persons with less than a high school diploma are living in poverty as they do not have the education

and skills to secure a job with a wage they can live on.

The next table, titled “Poverty Rates, Unemployment and Labor Force Participation by Education Level and Race,” maps how lower educational attainment

among African Americans translates into higher unemployment and a larger percentage of the community living in poverty.

19


POVERTY RATES, UNEMPLOYMENT RATES AND LABOR FORCE

PARTICIPATION BY EDUCATION LEVEL, RACE AND ETHNICITY

Source: American Community Survey, 1 year estimates, 2016

POPULATION BELOW THE

POVERTY LINE

UNEMPLOYED

POPULATION

LABOR FORCE

PARTICIPATION

EDUCATION LEVEL

2007

2016

2007

2016

2007

2016

Less than high school graduate

20.9%

24.2%

10.2%

4.6%

64.3%

59.1%

High school graduate

10.1%

11.4%

6.5%

4.5%

76.6%

73.7%

Some college or associates degree

6.4%

7.5%

3.7%

3.4%

82.2%

80.4%

Bachelor’s degree or higher

3.1%

4.1%

2.4%

2.2%

8 7.6 %

86.6%

RACE & ETHNICITY

White

9.2%

9.7%

4.9%

3.4%

68.6%

66.9%

Black/African American

24.5%

20.2%

9.8%

5.9%

61.6%

68.6%

Asian

4.5%

10.1%

4.2%

3.8%

64.9%

68.1%

Hispanic or Latino

25.7%

24.3%

5.3%

3.6%

71.0%

74.5%

Takeaway: Unemployment continues to drop for the Nashville MSA with an overall unemployment rate of 3.2% in July 2018.

Finding qualified workforce is a pressing issue for businesses in the

Nashville region, regardless of their size or industry. The data shows,

however, that in the 10 years of growth since the Great Recession, not all

Middle Tennesseans have benefitted fully from the region’s job growth. In

many cases, the key is relevant education and training.

Through a series of thoughtful policy decisions and related programming,

there are ways for Middle Tennesseans to continue their education in a

manner that is realistic and can open career opportunities.

Higher education institutions and employers must continue to work

together to align education and training programs to industry needs

creating highly-skilled workers who will be competitive in the job market.

Government and higher education experts believe that providing

tuition-free opportunities will increase graduation rates. Research also

shows, however, that housing, transportation and childcare situations

can also negatively impact the likelihood of a student completing their

degree. It is important that higher education institutions look beyond

tuition and financial aid as the only way to increase student enrollment.

These institutions must become community connectors for students

providing resources that extend past traditional school needs. Continued

collaboration between educators and employers will guide graduates to

have the knowledge, skills, credentials and abilities to achieve a higher

standard of living for themselves and their families by securing a career in

a high-demand industry.

20


POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION ATTAINMENT INITIATIVES IN TENNESSEE

Complete Tennessee, Beneath the Surface: The State of Higher Education in Tennessee, 2017

COMPLETE COLLEGE TENNESSEE ACT OF 2010

The Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 enacted comprehensive postsecondary reforms focused on student success and completion. Key

components included establishing an outcomes-based funding formula for public colleges and universities, mandating articulation and

transfer pathways and removing remedial coursework from universities.

DRIVE TO 55

Drive to 55 was created in 2013 by Governor Haslam as a challenge to the state to reach the goal of having 55 percent of working-age

Tennesseans obtaining a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2025.

FOCUS ACT

In 2016, the Tennessee General Assembly passed Governor Haslam’s Focus on College and University Success (FOCUS) Act. This legislation

aligns the postsecondary education system in Tennessee by: (1) removing public four-year universities from the governance of the Tennessee

Board of Regents and granting institutions their own local governing boards and (2) placing community colleges and Tennessee Colleges of

Applied Technology (TCATs) under the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

LABOR EDUCATION ALIGNMENT PROGRAM (LEAP)

The Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP), passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2013, created a statewide, comprehensive

structure enabling students in Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and community colleges to participate in technical

training developed with input from area employers. The goal is to ensure that the certificates and degrees of the program align with area

employers’ workforce needs.

TENNESSEE PROMISE

In 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly passed Tennessee Promise which allows recent high school graduates to complete an associate

degree or certificate program tuition-free at a public community college or College of Applied Technology (TCAT).

TENNESSEE RECONNECT ACT

In 2017, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Tennessee Reconnect Act which provides tuition-free community college to adults that

do not already have a degree.

TENNESSEE RECONNECT TCAT GRANT

In 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation authorizing adult students to attend a Tennessee College of Applied Technology

(TCAT) tuition-free.

21


MIDDLE TENNESSEE RECONNECT COMMUNITY

The Middle Tennessee Reconnect Community, an initiative of the

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is a regional organization

dedicated to supporting adults who aspire to earn a college degree

under the Reconnect Act. The Chamber recognizes it is not enough

to provide free tuition to adults without considering the additional

barriers that keep students from receiving a degree or certificate.

The Reconnect Café is where students can bring their need (lack of

transportation, daycare, who to call regarding financial aid questions,

housing, etc.) to a Reconnect Advisor who will engage community

organizations and employers to help the students with advising,

support, and a personalized path through college. With college

completion being one of the top issues in higher education, Reconnect

Café and its advisors create an opportunity for returning students to

have the community and support necessary to complete a certificate

or degree for the betterment of themselves and their families.

Fred Frazier, Jr., the Tennessee Reconnect completion coach and

advisor at Nashville State Community College, believes the goal of

Reconnect Café is to change the notion within our community that

admittance into school is enough and students do not need additional

support.

“You must be familiar with where that person comes from. We must be

mindful of neighborhood landscapes. If a student needs computer lab

assistance, the Reconnect team will look for tutoring at a library in the

student’s neighborhood. Students need to feel supported by people

who they know, such as their local librarian and bus drivers, not just

school employees,” Frazier says.

With a background in workforce development, it’s not just college

completion that drives Fred to work hard helping students, it’s the

knowledge that he can use resources outside of Reconnect to provide

student assistance such as: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

Program (SNAP), which provides nutritional assistance for low-income

individuals and families, The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity

Act (WOIA) which provides grants for students who are unemployed

and seeking job assistance, and transportation options such as free

bus passes for eligible students. If the adult is supported, then that

support trickles down into their home. Children can see their parents

balance work, school and family to achieve their educational goals. If

schools can help remove educational barriers, then students can focus

exclusively on college completion.

“We are modeling future workforce behavior. We are not just helping

students receive a certificate or degree but providing lifelong soft skills

to help students ensure their success as working professionals. We are

providing them with a network of support. We find the willing and able

people to help. We don’t always have the answer, but we always send

them to the right person (or people) to ensure they are successful and

supported. That’s what we are here for. If my job was obsolete, I would

feel victorious,” says Frazier.

To learn more please contact the Director, Middle Tennessee

Reconnect Community, Laura Ward, info@midtnreconnect.org or visit

midtnreconnect.org.

22


PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION AGES 25 - 64 WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE OR HIGHER

Source: American Community Survey, 1 year estimates, 2016

50%

40%

30%

Raleigh

Austin

Seattle

Atlanta

Charlotte

Nashville

Indianapolis

New Orleans

Louisville

Memphis

Takeaway: The Nashville

MSA is above the national

average in educational

attainment of bachelors

and other graduate or

professional degrees.

U.S. average

20%

10%

0%

23


POSTSECONDARY ATTAINMENT BY MSA

Source: American Community Survey, 1 year estimates, 2016

Raleigh

Austin

Seattle

Atlanta

Charlotte

Nashville

Indianapolis

New Orleans

Louisville

Memphis

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

TALENT HUB DESIGNATION

In 2017, Nashville was designated a Talent Hub by the Lumina Foundation, an organization based in Indianapolis, Ind. dedicated to making

postsecondary education available to everyone. The Talent Hub designation, which Lumina Foundation awards with support from The Kresge

Foundation, indicates a community has shown the capacity and ability to significantly increase the numbers of residents with college degrees,

certificates, or other credentials beyond a high school diploma. Nashville earned this designation by creating an environment that will continue

to “attract, retain, and cultivate talent, particularly among today’s students, many of whom are people of color, the first in their families to go to

college and from low-income households.”

Nashville’s Promise Zone neighborhoods will be the target of the Talent Hub work, with a focus on equity and encouraging residents, particularly

African-Americans, who face barriers to entering and completing a postsecondary degree or credential program that leads to a career, to

complete their degree or other credentials.

The Talent Hub work is a partnership between the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Middle Tennessee Reconnect Community, Mayor

David Briley’s Office, Nashville State Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Nashville. The goal of this work is to

move residents who have been on the sidelines of Nashville’s prosperity into a career pathway, not just a job.

Talent Hub cities specifically seek to eliminate educational disparities among African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians. Other

Talent Hub communities include: Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Louisville, Ky.; New York, N.Y.;

Philadelphia, Pa.; and Richmond, Va.

24


WORKFORCE EARNINGS BY RACE AND ETHNICITY, PER MONTH

Source: Quarterly Workforce Indicator, 2017

WHITE

BLACK OR

AFRICAN

AMERICAN

AMERICAN INDIAN

OR ALASKAN

NATIVE

ASIAN

NATIVE HAWAIIAN

OR PACIFIC

ISLANDER

2006

2016

2006

2016

2006

2016

2006

2016

2006

2016

Atlanta

4,569

5,766

2,744

3,334

2,862

3,520

3,738

3,520

2,535

3,441

Austin

4,224

5,211

2,775

3,423

2,900

3,596

4,890

3,596

2,698

3,698

Charlotte

4,455

5,311

2,657

3,076

2,784

3,352

4,046

3,352

2,438

3,804

Indianapolis

3,667

4,501

2,610

2,991

2,538

3,125

4,094

3,125

2,201

2,971

Louisville

3,741

4,690

2,433

2,995

2,774

3,280

4,080

3,280

2,496

3,210

Memphis

4,568

5,770

2,401

2,990

3,075

3,835

4,015

3,835

2,598

3,243

Nashville

3,823

4,916

2,572

3,125

2,823

3,456

3,680

3,456

2,552

3,951

New Orleans

4,093

4,939

2,570

2,859

3,189

3,561

3,524

3,561

3,023

3,461

Raleigh

4,135

5,056

2,395

2,975

2,719

3,408

4,322

3,408

2,407

3,445

Seattle

4,402

6,167

3,087

4,142

3,120

4,240

3,986

4,240

3,296

4,668

Takeaway: Minority groups including African Americans and American Indians continue to earn less

average monthly income than White Nashvillians. However, average earning distributions in the city are

slightly less varied by race than in peer cities.

Top 20%

Bottom 20%

25


HEALTH

Several factors, many of which are not unique to the Nashville region, are converging to make health an increasingly important topic for

employers and communities. Rising healthcare costs, paired with changes to the Affordable Care Act and Tennessee’s decision not to expand

Medicaid, resulted in changes for individuals’ health insurance and the health insurance calculations made by employers. An increasing number

of employees are simultaneously caring for children and for aging parents, coping with occasional or repeated illness of loved ones and the

stress of being a caregiver. Along with the obesity epidemic and related chronic health issues, these are just some of the health-related issues

facing the Nashville region.

In the Nashville region’s tight labor market, employers are placing more emphasis on employee health and wellness. Employers see the impact

of illness in increased absenteeism, repeated absence from work, and presenteeism, a decline in work performance. Even when healthcare

options are available to employees, absenteeism and presenteeism lead to workforce shortages.

If Middle Tennesseans are unable to work, or work to their highest productivity, because of their health, then this directly impacts business

outcomes. Poor health creates increased costs for both employers and employees.

To improve employee health, many businesses are implementing employee health programs. Research shows organizational leadership at all

levels needs to be strongly engaged, active and supportive of these programs for them to be successful. Research completed by the Research

Center of the Nashville Area Chamber indicates that approximately 60 percent of Nashville area organizations surveyed experienced this type

of leadership commitment during the past year, noting that respondents likely represented organizations with a greater predisposition to health

and wellness as organizational issues.

NASHVILLE AREA EMPLOYERS DEMONSTRATING COMMITMENT TO EMPLOYEE HEALTH

Source: Nashville Area Chamber, The Research Center, 2017

59.78% 40.22%

Did demonstrate commitment and support at all levels

Did not demonstrate commitment and support at all levels

26


HEALTH INSURANCE

One way employers seek to improve worker health and wellness is with employer-sponsored health insurance, which also serves as an employment

incentive in a tight labor market. Nashville, in comparison with peer cities, has seen a dramatic decrease (68.5 percent in 2006 to 46.0 percent in 2016) in

the number of employers that offer health insurance.

HEALTH INSURANCE OF WORKERS BY MSA: 2006 VS. 2016

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2016

Percent of employees that

are enrolled

2006

2016

Percent of establishments that

offer health insurance

2006

2016

Takeaway: In Nashville and many comparable

metro areas, the past decade has seen a decline

in the number of business establishments that

offer health insurance, for a variety of reasons,

including rise in healthcare costs.

60.0%

56.1%

Atlanta

41.3%

52.6%

63.8%

65.8%

Charlotte

46.0%

69.2%

67. 1 %

51.1%

Cleveland

63.6%

69.5%

58.2%

52.0%

Denver

49.4%

61.6%

66.7%

58.3%

Indianapolis

40.9%

58.9%

62.3%

57.9%

Minneapolis

43.3%

56.8%

65.6%

61.5%

Nashville

46.0%

68.5%

63.7%

57.3%

Seattle

48.5%

60.2%

27


PRODUCTIVITY COSTS BY CONDITION: NASHVILLE REGION WORKFORCE

Source: FTI Consulting’s Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy, 2017

AGE GROUP DIABETES OBESITY HYPERTENSION DEPRESSION ASTHMA COPD

TOTAL

COSTS

Age 25 - 44

3.3%

9.7%

4.7%

46.9%

23.8%

11.5%

$825.2 M

Age 45 - 64

23.7%

9.4%

10.6%

30.0%

12.6%

13.6%

$824.2 M

Takeaway: Workers in the Nashville area, particularly in older age cohorts, experience a variety of adverse

health conditions that result in losses in productivity that are costly to individuals and business alike.

PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION EXPERIENCING DEPRESSIVE EPISODES, 2014

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014

U.S. average

Denver

Minneapolis

Seattle

Raleigh

Nashville

Cleveland

Atlanta

Charlotte

Austin

Indianapolis

7.4 8 %

7.45%

7.29%

7. 1 7 %

7.0 4 %

6.86%

6.79%

6.71%

6.65%

6.42%

6.31%

Takeaway: Mental

health issues continue

to gain awareness as a

factor in overall health

and wellness with

important implications

for the economic and

social well-being

of individuals and

communities. Compared

to the national average,

Nashvillians experience

a slightly lower rate of

depressive episodes.

28


CHILDREN’S HEALTH

PERCENTAGE OF EXPECTANT MOTHERS WITH ADEQUATE PRENATAL CARE BY COUNTY: 2012 VS. 2016

Source: Tennessee Department of Health, 2012-2016

100%

80%

-1.4%

-0.1%

-8.5%

+2.7%

Williamson

Wilson

Maury

Dickson

Takeaway: Throughout

the Nashville region,

approximately half

of expectant mothers

are receiving adequate

prenatal care as defined

by the number of

prenatal visits during

pregnancy.

-8.0%

Smith

60%

-7.8%

-5.6%

Hickman

Trousdale

-4.9%

Macon

-5.2%

Cheatham

-11.4%

Sumner

40%

-0.8%

Rutherford

-4.4%

Davidson

+6.9%

Montgomery

-6.0%

Robertson

20%

-10.9%

Cannon

0%

2012 2016

Children’s health needs to be addressed. Employees must cope with their children’s illnesses, which can cause absenteeism. Furthermore,

early health provides a foundation of good health for a lifetime. Good health starts with prenatal care, and only about half of the infants born

in the Nashville region have received adequate prenatal care.

29


CHILDREN WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE

Source: American Community Survey, 1 year estimates, 2016

20,000

Takeaway: Nashville has a relatively high rate of

children without health insurance. Compared to other

cities, which have declined over time, Nashville has not

experienced the same level of change and continues to

have a higher rate than comparable metro areas.

15,000

10,000

Austin

Nashville

Charlotte

Indianapolis

5,000

Minneapolis

Atlanta

Raleigh

Denver

Cleveland

0

Seattle

2013 2014 2015 2016

Many children in the Nashville region continue to lack health care after birth, and a significant number of Middle Tennessee children

don’t have health insurance.

30


CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY BY COUNTY

Source: Kids Count, U.S. Census Bureau 2017

Cannon

Cheatham

Davidson

Dickson

Hickman

Macon

Maury

Montgomery

Robertson

Rutherford

Takeaway: The percentage of

children living in poverty (22.2%)

in Davidson County is below the

state average of 22.6%

Smith

Sumner

Trousdale

2007

2016

Williamson

Wilson

Tennessee

0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30%

The health of children in the Nashville MSA intersects with the number of children living in poverty. Even if children have

health insurance, they may still live in unhealthy environments, lack proper nutrition and not have full access to health

care due to a lack of parental time or transportation.

31


PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS ON A FREE OR REDUCED LUNCH PLAN

Source: Tennessee Department of Education. KIDS COUNT division of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth

100%

Takeaway: More than half of

the region’s counties saw an

increase in the percentage

of students participating in

a free or reduced lunch plan

over the past decade.

80%

60%

Davidson

Macon

Hickman

Trousdale

Robertson

Beginning in school year 2014-

2015, several Middle Tennessee

counties, including Metro

Nashville Public Schools, began

offering free school lunches and

breakfasts to all students under

a new federal grant program.

Maury

40%

Cannon

Smith

Dickson

Cheatham

20%

Montgomery

Rutherford

Wilson

Williamson

0%

Sumner

2008 2017

Eligibility for free lunch is defined by the Tennessee Department of Education as all children in households receiving

benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Families First. To receive reduced lunch rates,

household gross income must be within predetermined limits on Federal Income Eligibility guidelines.

32


OBESITY RATES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS BY COUNTY

Source: Tennessee Department of Education, 2016

Hickman

Smith

Maury

Robertson

Rutherford

Cannon

Takeaway: Obesity among

school-aged-children

in Middle Tennessee

remains a concern. Longterm

costs of obesity

include hospitalization

and pharmaceutical costs

as well as lost time and

worker productivity.

Sumner

Wilson

Davidson

Dickson

Cheatham

Williamson

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Among other childhood health issues facing the Nashville region, our children suffer from high rates of obesity, placing children

and adolescents at a higher risk for poor health in adulthood.

33


NASHVILLE-AREA EMPLOYERS PRIORITIZE EMPLOYEE HEALTH

In November 2017, the Nashville Area Chamber partnered with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to host the Workforce Health Executive

Roundtable. The half-day program took place at Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Employee Wellness Center. More than 50 employers participated,

each assessing their current workplace health culture and sharing their aspirational goals, concerns and commitments with one another in a peergroup

setting.

Following the release of the 2017 Nashville Region Health Competitiveness Report in collaboration with FTI Consulting’s Center for Healthcare

Economics and Policy, the Chamber’s Research Center responded to a request by Vanderbilt University Medical Center to assess broad patterns in

area employer health programs.

Participants were provided this new research by Chamber VP of Research, Dr. Garrett Harper, learning key features and characteristics that make

such programs successful. Meg Guerin-Calvert, President and Senior Managing Director at FTI’s Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy, shared

new data on the productivity costs of various chronic conditions.

Presentations by Dr. Mary Yarbrough, Executive Director of Faculty and Staff Health and Wellness at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and David

Hines, Director of Benefits at Metro Nashville Public Schools, provided tangible steps for employers interested in improving productivity and wellbeing

within their organizations.

These steps include:

1. Identifying the problem

2. Picking a strategy

3. Developing and implementing your plan

4. Evaluating your progress, and

5. Communicating with your employees.

During the program, participants cited their primary issues, interests and concerns related to workplace health. Top responses included productivity

(absenteeism and presenteeism), healthcare costs, employee morale, impact on co-workers, and continuity of client service and relationships. The

biggest health-related challenges for employees themselves included stress, mental and physical health, healthcare costs and access to care.

Participants shared best practices for tackling these issues, particularly in a tight labor market where retention and recruitment of talent is key to

business success. Each company left with at least three ideas to take back to their organization. Company leaders shared aspirational goals of where

they would like to be along a spectrum of workplace health, and they now have a baseline from which to track and evaluate progress over time.

34


HEALTH-RELATED BEHAVIORS BY PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION

Source: U.S. Centers for Disase Control and Prevention, 2015

UNHEALTHY BEHAVIORS

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

Physical

Sleep less

Currently

Annual

Dental

inactivity

than 7 hours

smoking

checkup

visit

Atlanta

26.2

40.4

1 7. 5

75.0

62.6

Austin

24.2

29.0

13.8

66.8

63.7

Top 20%

Charlotte

24.1

34.0

16.4

73.3

62.2

Bottom 20%

Cleveland

36.8

45.4

36.8

73.5

48.7

Denver

Indianapolis

Minneapolis

Nashville

Raleigh

18.2

30.7

21.4

29.4

22.6

28.1

39.2

30.7

36.3

31.7

1 7. 1

22.7

16.9

21.0

15.7

62.1

66.0

69.8

72.4

72.7

63.1

60.1

68.7

56.9

64.8

Takeaway: The

Nashville and

Clarksville areas

experience moderate

levels of unhealthy

behaviors and key

prevention actions.

Seattle

14.7

29.9

11.5

61.2

73.0

Clarksville

30.0

38.3

24.2

73.4

56.9

Recently, the Metro Public Health Department and NashvilleHealth launched the Nashville Community Health + Well-being Survey, a

foundational, county-wide survey of the health of Nashville residents. The large-scale assessment, to be sent to more than 12,000 residents,

will provide valuable data about health-related behaviors, chronic health conditions, preventive health practices and how the local environment

impacts opportunities for well-being.

The data from the survey will help gain an accurate picture of the health of the city and inform and enhance the work being done today. It

will also play an important role in setting future priorities regarding the health of Nashville’s population, allowing non-profits, businesses,

governments and other organizations to better serve the needs of the community. Future surveys are envisioned to track progress over time.

The survey, conducted by the nationally-recognized Survey Research Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will be administered in both

English and Spanish, and respondents will be able to reply via web or mail. The questions included in the survey were selected from the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and other national surveys, to address Nashville’s

unique health-related priorities and determinants.

35


TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE

Middle Tennessee’s popularity over recent years has shined a spotlight on the need to invest in the infrastructure systems that

serve the growing population. There has been a growing demand for investment in our transportation system and increased

interest in new options to get around the region.

To address the need for funding at the state level community and elected leaders worked together with state legislators and the

Tennessee Department of Transportation to support the passage of the IMPROVE Act. This effort increased the state gas tax for

the first time since 1989. For Middle Tennessee, funding from the IMPROVE Act will provide nearly $3.3 billion complete more

than 220 projects.

The IMPROVE Act also laid out a path for counties to establish dedicated funding for transit. Davidson County took the first

opportunity to go to referendum May of 2018. The plan presented to the voters was developed on based on year’s transit

studies and planning activities. “Let’s Move Nashville,” the program of projects presented to the voters of Davidson County was

not supported by the voters and this first attempt failed at the ballot box.

Many of Nashville’s peer regionals have gone to the ballot box multiple times to secure funding for transit and each attempt

provided an opportunity to elevate the conversation, educate the community on the benefits of transit and gather additional

input from the public to improve the plans put forward.

The community-based groups that helped elevate the conversation on transit during the referendum, including Transit Alliance

of Middle Tennessee, Transit Now, Moving Forward, and the Transit for Nashville Coalition, continue to work on improving

mobility choices and providing education and advocacy to support future success.

Poll result: The 2018 Vital Signs poll was conducted after the transit referendum failed. Seventy-seven

percent of respondents stated it was important or very important for community leaders to try again

to seek voter approval of a transit plan and funding.

36


MAJOR MILESTONES TOWARD TRANSIT

While the May 2018 referendum in Davidson County was not successful, it was a step forward in the pursuit of an improved transit

system for Middle Tennessee. Since 2009, the Nashville region has continued to make steady progress toward improving mobility

across the region.

2009

2010

2012

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

• State Enabling Legislation for the Regional Transit Authority

• The establishment of the Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus formalized political leadership around priority issues in Middle

Tennessee. Since its creation, the Mayors Caucus has championed investment in transportation, including playing an active role

in the passage of the IMPROVE Act.

• The region’s first private-sector advocacy group, the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, was established to focus on educating

business and community leaders on transit and transportation challenges in Middle Tennessee.

• With the development of the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan, mayors across the region endorsed a bold vision for transit that

set the stage for the development of a strategic plan for transit in coming years.

• Reconstitution of the Regional Transit Authority under new statute.

• As the region grew, Nashville Area MPO expanded the planning area to include Robertson and Maury Counties in the federally

designated planning area.

• Nashville MTA/RTA began “nMotion” to establish a long-term, regional strategic plan for the transit agency.

• A business community initiative, Moving Forward, was established to educate and engage regional leadership in transit

initiatives.

• With the adoption of the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, mayors across the region again confirmed their commitment to

implementing a regional transit system.

• The nMotion plan was completed and adoption of the strategic plan formalized recommendations for a future transit system.

• IMPROVE Act passed, providing Middle Tennessee counties the opportunity to hold a referendum to establish a dedicated source of

funding for transit.

• Following the identification of potential funding sources and a program of projects for Nashville MTA, a transit referendum on

the “Let’s Move Nashville” plan was slated for a vote in May.

• Voters rejected the “Let’s Move Nashville” plan as presented.

• Study kicked off to expand on nMotion recommendations along the I-65 Corridor between Davidson and Maury County.

• Nashville/Davidson County’s first Transportation Demand Management program, Nashville Connector, launched, focusing on

providing alternatives to onerous commutes for downtown employees.

37


PEOPLE STORY: YOUTH IN ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

While the transit referendum dominated the discussion in 2018, there are numerous programs underway in the Nashville region that encourage

alternate forms of transportation and transformative changes in how we move about the region.

In August 2009, Daniel Furbish had an idea to teach young people how to rebuild bikes. What he thought would be a one-time summer enrichment

program at the Oasis Center has become a weekly, year-round workshop in which:

• volunteer bike mentors teach the students bicycle safety and maintenance;

• students rebuild a bicycle that they’ll get to keep;

• students learn alternative methods of transportation such as biking, walking or riding the bus; and

• students learn soft skills and other characteristics important to becoming a productive member of the region’s workforce.

The Oasis Bike Workshop is an affiliate program of the Oasis Center in Nashville - a support center for youth and their families. The workshop

holds a weekly, year-round program and a 6-week summer program. The workshop is supported by a consistent team of two employees and

more than 30 volunteers. Bicycles are donated from all over the community. To date, more than 1,500 students have successfully completed the

workshop.

Students show up ready to learn and volunteers teach students everything they need to know about taking apart and customizing a bike to meet

their needs. Furbish designed the curriculum to keep all students working at the same level. Everyone must complete a task before students move

on to the next task to encourage peer support. At the end of the workshop, in addition to their new bike, students receive a new helmet, lock, lights

and toolkit.

The workshop is a community approach to transportation for students with limited transit options, increasing educational and employment

opportunities for youth and teaching them the skills required to maintain a job. As students complete the program, Furbish realized the workshop

is more than an opportunity to keep young people in a safe, productive place, but rather a job skills program. Graduates of the workshop have

found job opportunities at B-Cycle, Green Fleet and even at Nissan.

Furbish also works with a team of international students from LEAD Academy, Glencliff and Hillsboro high schools who not only rebuilt their own

bike but have formed a mountain bike team that competes all over the state.

Students who participated in the workshop have even translated their bike skills to their love of arts. Students used parts of old, donated bicycles

to create a canopy for the park across the street from the Oasis Bike Workshop. Students also used bicycles to create mixed-media art. To learn

more about the Oasis Bike Workshop, visit: www.oasisbikeworkshop.org.

38


REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE

As of June 2018, the cost of infrastructure needs across the Nashville region totals nearly $8 billion. Transportation, education, health, safety and welfare

investments account for more than 90 percent of needs. Transportation infrastructure needs in Middle Tennessee account for nearly 20 percent of statewide

needs.

The State of Tennessee compiles an annual inventory of public infrastructure needs across the state. This inventory is know as the Public Infrastructure

Needs Inventory or PINI. The PINI provides an understanding of the extent and type of capital investment needed in each county. Categories tracked include-

Transportation and Utilities, Public Buildings, Water and Wastewater infrastructure, Law enforcement and public health related facilities and vehicles, fire

protection, housing, industrial development, education related facilities and systems, and recreation or community facilities.

As of June 2018, the cost of infrastructure needs across the Nashville region totals nearly $8 billion. Transportation, education, health, safety and welfare

investments account for more than 90 percent of needs. Transportation infrastructure needs in Middle Tennessee account for nearly 20 percent of statewide

needs.

PROJECTIONS OF INFASTRUCTURE NEEDS BY COUNTY

Source: Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 2018

PROJECTIONS OF

PROJECTS NEEDED FROM

2013 - 2018

ESTIMATED IN 2015

PROJECTIONS OF

PROJECTS NEEDED FROM

2016 - 2021

ESTIMATED IN 2018

NUMBER OF

PROJECTS

COST

NUMBER OF

PROJECTS

COST

Cannon

78

$134,633,647

83

$93,033,341

Cheatham

116

$272,719,834

95

$199,011,788

Davidson

714

$4,632,099,724

688

$5,666,002,619

Dickson

141

$296,338,956

141

$221,016,749

Hickman

159

$309,681,792

163

$189,760,072

Macon

58

$71,485,500

66

$139,935,421

Maury

282

$366,145,481

302

$357,417,006

Montgomery

257

$1,147,104,693

353

$1,153,134,395

Robertson

169

$425,685,967

290

$525,874,232

Rutherford

357

$1,504,542,000

306

$1,418,096,370

Smith

96

$102,379,194

122

$127,848,692

Sumner

386

$698,899,296

419

$825,577,384

Trousdale

44

$148,761,555

44

$108,900,527

Williamson

347

$1,641,736,524

386

$1,609,112,674

Wilson

273

$1,068,911,781

289

$1,063,317,930

39


INFASTRUCTURE NEED BY TYPE

Source: American Soviety for Civil Engineers, 2018

Education 43%

Transportation and utilities 34%

Health, safety and welfare 16%

Recreation and culture 5%

Economic development 1%

General government 1%

Takeaway: While transportation

needs make up a signigicant

part of infrastructure needs, it

was surpassed by education this

year. Approximately $3.4 billion

is education investments have

been identified in the form of

new schools, or renovations and

additions at existing schools.

REPORT CARD FOR AMERICA’S INFASTRUCTURE, TENNESSEE, 2013 VS. 2016

Source: American Soviety for Civil Engineers, 2018

2013

2016

Aviation

Bridges

Inland waterways

Roads

School facilities

B-

B-

C-

C+

C-

B-

B-

C-

B-

C+

Takeaway: While

there has been a

slight increase in the

rating for Tennessee’s

roadways, there is still

a significant need to

improve the state’s

infrastructure.

Transit

D+

D

Drinking water

C

C

Wastewater

D+

C

40


OPERATIONS FUNDING PER CAPITA 2018

Source: National Transit Database 2018

LARGE URBAN

TRANSIT SYSTEMS

TOTAL

PER CAPITA

FARES

OTHER

FUNDS

LOCAL

GOVERNMENT STATE FEDERAL

FAREBOX

Nashville MTA

$73.30

$11.83

$2.88

$41.73

$6.07

$ 1 0 . 7 9

16.1%

Atlanta (MARTA)

$615.02

$138.25

$116.23

$23.86

$0.00

$72.63

22.5%

Austin (Capital Metro)

$228.54

$23.55

$9.55

$0.21

$0.00

$28.36

10.3%

Charlotte (CATS)

$138.70

$30.69

$2.71

$89.01

$10.73

$5.56

22.1%

Denver (RTD)

$605.96

$136.18

$28.47

$4.25

$0.46

$76.67

22.5%

Indianapolis (IndyGo)

$67.59

$11.05

$0.96

$34.07

$10.71

$10.80

16.4%

Kansas City (KCATA)

$94.48

$10.82

$3.88

$66.37

$0.29

$13.12

11.4%

Louisville (TARC)

$79.64

$12.63

$0.72

$49.95

$1.53

$14.81

15.9%

Memphis (MATA)

$50.56

$ 7. 8 5

$1.22

$23.30

$7.33

$10.86

15.5%

Minneapolis (Metro Transit)

$388.69

$93.89

$8.02

$28.04

$243.51

$15.22

24.2%

Raleigh (CAT)

$32.85

$4.13

$2.83

$18.20

$2.67

$5.02

12.6%

Seattle (Sound Transit)

$273.88

$80.56

$20.57

$1.19

$0.00

$23.11

29.4%

Tampa (HART)

$76.01

$14.90

$1.44

$43.61

$5.14

$10.93

19.6%

Takeaway: WeGo has the second lowest annual operating budget compared to peer cities per capita.

Currently, operations needs rely heavily the local contribution from Metro Government at 57

percent of its funding. As opposed to peer systems average 14 percent from local government which

provides a more dedicated mix of funding sources.

41


AFFORDABILITY

The Nashville region’s growth since the Great Recession has resulted in a 5.3 percent increase in median household income in the decade

between 2006 and 2016, equating to $3,042. The first quarter of 2018 found average weekly wages in Davidson County increasing by 6.2 percent,

which was well above the U.S. average of a 3.7 percent increase in wages.

CHANGE IN MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME FROM 2006 - 2016

Source: American Community Survey, 1 Year estimates, 2016

Austin

$ 7, 8 2 0

12.38%

Denver

$6,223

9.47%

Portland

Raleigh

$4,782

$4,601

7.4 8 %

6.86%

Nashville

$3,042

5.34%

Charlotte

Columbus

Minneapolis

Clarksville

$1,027

$653

-$1,109

-$942

1.74%

1.09%

-1.49%

-1.80%

Takeaway: When adjusted for

inflation, many areas have seen

median household incomes

decline. The Nashville MSA median

household income grew by 5.3% in

the past decade.

Atlanta

-$3,757

-5.66%

Indianapolis

-$3,992

-6.57%

Despite these increases in income, there is a growing concern among Middle Tennesseans that the region is becoming increasingly unaffordable

for low-income and middle-income residents.

Assessment of earnings from 21 of the most common jobs in Nashville shows that 13 of the jobs have earnings that would not cover fair market

rent for a two-bedroom home, making these employees housing-cost-burdened.

Poll result: The 2018 Vital Signs poll found that four out of 10 respondents stated their household

has difficulty covering monthly expenses; this is up from 34 percent in 2017.

42


COST OF LIVING INDEX: 2009 - 2017

Source: Council for Community and Economic Research, 2017

The cost of living index is designed to provide the best possible means to compare cost of living differences

among urban areas based on the price of consumer goods and services appropriate for professional and

managerial households in the top income quintile. The index consists of six major categories: grocery items,

housing, utilities, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services.

2009 2017

130

125

Portland

Takeaway: Despite the

area’s strong economic

growth, Nashville has

maintained a below

average cost of living

for metro areas in the

United States.

120

115

110

Denver

105

Minneapolis

100

95

Atlanta

Austin

Nashville

Raleigh

Charlotte

90

Indianapolis

Columbus

85

43


EARNINGS AND RENT

Chmurra Economics and Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2017

Combined food prep. and

serving workers

Waiters and waitresses

Cashiers

Maids and

housekeeping cleaners

Janitors and cleaners

Stock clerks and

order fillers

$40,800: Annual salary

needed to avoid being

cost-burdened

Average annual salary

Difference needed to avoid being

cost burdened, including funds for

fair market rent for a two bedroom

home ($12,024)

Excess income after fair market rent

for a two bedroom home ($12,024)

Retail salespersons

Laborers and freight,

stock and material movers

Security guards

Secretaries and

admin. assistants

Takeaway: Affordability is an issue for

many Nashvillians. Twenty-nine of the

top 50 occupations are unable to afford a

2-bedroom apartment in the region without

being cost-burdened.

Customer service

representatives

Team assemblers

Office clerks

Maintenance and

repair workers

Bookkeeping, accounting

and auditing clerks

First line supervisors of

retail sales workers

Tractor trailer

truck drivers

First line supervisors of

office and admin. workers

Registered nurses

Accountants and auditors

General and

operations managers


The largest costs for most households are housing and transportation. Despite the increases in income, a growing number of residents in Middle

Tennessee find it difficult to locate housing within their budget. Residents struggle to find housing for many reasons: the pace of growth in Nashville

and the addition of new residents has led to an imbalance in supply and demand of housing. Additionally, the interest in in-town neighborhoods that

had been home to more affordable housing, the demand for housing and the demolition of existing housing that was less expensive and is replaced

with newer, more expensive housing also contribute to this growing challenge. Looking at the same time frame as the household income increase,

2006 to 2016, median home prices increased dramatically from $175,000 in 2006 to a little under $250,000 in 2016. An analysis of Multiple Listing

Service data found that in June 2018, buyers in the Nashville region paid an average of $320,000. This represents $20,000 more than the average

home cost in June 2017.

Similarly, Census data and Rentjungle found that average rents in Nashville increased 60 percent in a six-year period from $872 in 2011, to $1,401 in

2017. Residents of Nashville are spending more than 28 percent of their monthly incomes on their rent or mortgage.

MEDIAN HOME PRICES: 2006 - 2016

Source: Zillow, 2017

2006 2016

$300,000

$250,000

$200,000

Austin

Denver

Nashville

Portland

Raleigh

Charlotte

Takeaway:

Nashville’s growth

and rising national

popularity has led

to increasing home

prices, particularly

in the past few

years. Compared

to most peer cities,

home prices in

Nashville have

risen sharply in the

past decade.

$150,000

Columbus

Indianapolis

Atlanta

Minneapolis

$100,000

45


HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION COSTS AS A PERCENTAGE OF INCOME: 2016 VS. 2017

Source: 2017 Center for Neighborhood Technology

Atlanta

2016

2017

Austin

Charlotte

Clarksville

Denver

2016

2017

2016

2017

2016

2017

2016

2017

Takeaway: Combined,

the cost of housing

and transportation as

a percent of income in

the Nashville region

is still above 50%. This

is an indication that

affordability continues

to be a significant issue

of concern.

Indianapolis

Louisville

2016

2017

2016

2017

Housing

Transportation

Housing and transportation

Memphis

2016

2017

Nashville

2016

2017

Raleigh

2016

2017

Seattle

2016

2017

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%

A household is considered cost-burdened if it spends 30 percent or more of its monthly income on housing or 20 percent or more of its monthly

income on transportation. Some individuals and families move further from their work to find more affordable housing, but the distance they add to

their commute increases their transportation costs. The future success of the region depends on whether Middle Tennessee can figure out a way to

embrace the new growth while ensuring residents who work within the region can also afford to live within the region.

46

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